If there’s one thing I learned after being cooped up at home so much, it’s that the easiest things seem to entertain my children the most. As we debated how to handle Halloween, I decided instead of trick or treating we would do a candy hunt in the cul-de-sac. At first I thought I was being clever, but then I realized this activity had become my go to during COVID-19.
Between March and October last year we had five different themed hunts and my five year old and seven year old loved every single one of them. We found that it was a fun and easy way to burn off energy while adding some anticipation and excitement to constantly being home.
We started with searching for gold coins to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and then followed up with an Easter Egg hunt. We mixed it up a bit doing some eggs with candy and some eggs with exercises like pushups and jumping jacks. A neighbor then wanted to provide some fun for the kids and created a hunt for Pokémon cards and coloring books based on clues he wrote up. We helped the kids read them and they ran from spot to spot looking for their prizes.
Another neighbor randomly had 125 rubber duckies that we hid in the cul-de-sac for the ultimate duck hunt. I’m telling you, the easiest things can be the most fun.
We then rounded out October with a candy hunt. They may not have been running from door to door trick or treating, but at least they were running around which made mom happy and they ended up with lots of candy which made them happy. We do keep things even, so each kid is given the chance to find the same number of items.
Once I realized this formula worked so well, I started brainstorming more ideas. Luckily we have some nicer winter days in Kansas, so I do plan to get them out hunting this winter. Here are some of my plans.
Who doesn’t have a zillion tiny toys whether dinos, match box cars, animals or action figures laying around!
Glow Stick Hunt
Around dusk go and hide glow sticks throughout your yard. Give them a glow necklace to get started and watch them light up with the rest of what they find.
If they have access to a camera, give the kids a list of things to find in the yard to take a picture of to show you afterwards.
Hot Cocoa Hunt
Before warming up with hot chocolate, send them outside to find the ingredients like baggies of marshmallows, mugs and the hot chocolate mix. You could also do this with s’mores if you have fire pit.
As you can see, pretty much anything goes! Keeping it easy for you and fun for them is a win for everyone, and we can all use a win these days!